The Chinese Super League has announced that all 16 teams have returned to their bubbles ahead of the second half of the season with everyone testing free of the coronavirus. At a time when European football is seeing high profile cases, such as Portugal and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo, the CSL has reported no cases despite players being free to travel within China since the first stage ended last month. Several Europe-based footballers have tested positive for the coronavirus, including at least three at English Premier League champions Liverpool since their new season kicked off. The CSL had no cases during 23,000 tests conducted in the first half of the delayed season using a model very similar to that followed by the NBA to resume their own season. This season’s CSL belatedly began in July with teams confined to hotels in Suzhou and Dalian, the host cities of the newly separated divisions. Players, staff and officials spent 10 weeks in their hotels, only leaving for training and matches. That first stage concluded in September with the top four teams in each group moving on to the championship stage – playing for the CSL title and the AFC Champions League places – while the bottom four teams move on to the relegation round. Chinese Super League: no Covid-19 positives in 23,000 tests The title-deciding group is based in Suzhou while Dalian hosts the relegation group. As of the evening of October 13 all teams were inside their bubbles in the host cities and had undergone nucleic acid testing, the CSL announced. Champions Guangzhou Evergrande, Beijing Guoan, Shanghai SIPG, Shandong Luneng, Jiangsu Suning, Shanghai Shenhua, Hebei China Fortune and Chongqing Lifan are in Suzhou. Guangzhou R&F star denies Covid-19, says isolation was ‘like prison’ Dalian Pro, Shenzhen, Tianjin Teda, Guangzhou R&F, Henan Jianye, Shijiazhuang Everbright, Qingdao Huanghai and Wuhan Zall are in Dalian. The second stage, which sees teams play two legs, begins on Friday.